By Sam Page
March 31, 2016

Get ready for a new MLB season

Opening day is this Sunday. This year there are three games, including a World Series rematch in Kansas City. Get ready for the season ahead with a scout's take on every National League team and American League team.

Happy ballpark dog

Where to sit if you want to catch a homer

SeatGeek has used ESPN's home run data to create ballpark seating charts based on where you're most likely to catch a home run.

The rare double technical foul

For their sarcastic applause of referee Marc Davis last night, Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins got simultaneously T'd up. Rondo earned an ejection for his second technical of the night and Cousins is facing an automatic suspension after getting his 16th of the season.

One sneaky steal

Thirty-two-year-old Lakers rookie Marcelo Huertas pulled quite the trick last night in L.A.'s overtime win over Miami. He actually hid behind Heat coach Erik Spoelstra so he could sneak up on Goran Dragic and take the ball:

Here it is from another angle:

Dog gets crossed over

Today's Peanuts

(Photo credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Elsa/Getty Images

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Michigan State guard Denzel Valentine was named the Associated Press Player of the Year after edging out Oklahoma's Buddy Hield by just three votes. Valentine finished with 34 of 65 votes from the national media.

Valentine is the first Michigan State player to win the award after averaging 19.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists this season. Hield and Valentine were the lone unanimous selections to the AP All-America team.

ROSENBERG: Denzel Valentine’s singular obsession with winning sets him apart

The Spartans lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Middle Tennessee State while Oklahoma remains alive to play the Villanova Wildcats in the Final Four. Voting took place before the NCAA tournament.

Valentine is also up for the Naismith Trophy, the Oscar Robertson/USBWA Trophy and the Wooden Award. He has already won the National Association of Basketball Coaches' Player of the Year award.

Get breaking news and SI’s biggest stories instantly. Download the new Sports Illustrated app (iOS or Android) and personalize your experience by following your favorite teams and SI writers.

Jimmy Butler responded after Chicago’s 103–100 win over Houston to a report earlier Thursday about the Bulls potentially being open to trading him this off-season.

The Vertical’s Chris Mannix reported that he has heard there is “legitimate interest in Chicago” in potentially dealing Butler this summer, with the Magic showing particular interest in the two-time All-Star.

• LAYTON: Breaking down ‘the new Rose’ in healthiest season since MVP

“I don’t plan on going anywhere. I can’t control what everybody else does,” Butler said, according to ESPN. “I know that this is the city that I love, Chicago. And I want to wear that jersey. I want to wear that name on the front, and I wear it proudly. All I got to do is continue to control what I can control. That’s to try to help this team win games.”

The trade rumors stem from reported chemistry issues between Butler and head coach Fred Hoiberg, which resulted in several inquires about Butler’s availability at the trade deadline, according to Mannix.

Butler criticized Hoiberg’s coaching style in December, telling ESPN that he feels the team needs to be “coached a lot harder at times.”

Butler signed a five-year, $92.34 million deal with the Bulls last year. He is averaging 21 points, 4.4. assists, and 5.2 rebounds this seasons. 

 

 

The Bulls, who have struggled this season, improved to 38–37 and sit a game behind the Indiana Pacers for 8th in the Eastern Conference. 

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Butler scored 21 points, grabbed eight rebounds and added six assists against Houston.

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